Abstract

A novel system for recognizing three-dimensional (3D) objects by use of multiple perspectives imaging is proposed. A 3D object under incoherent illumination is projected into an array of two-dimensional (2D) elemental images by use of a microlens array. Each elemental 2D image corresponds to a different perspective of the 3D object. Multiple perspectives imaging based on integral photography has been used for 3D display. In this way, the whole set of 2D elemental images records 3D information about the input object. After an optical incoherent-to-coherent conversion, an optical processor is employed to perform the correlation between the input and the reference 3D objects. Use of micro-optics allows us to process the 3D information in real time and with a compact optical system. To the best of our knowledge this 3D processor is the first to apply the principle of integral photography to 3D image recognition. We present experimental results obtained with both a digital and an optical implementation of the system. We also show that the system can recognize a slightly out-of-plane rotated 3D object.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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